The importance of colour in branding

The importance of colour in branding

Colour has been proven to have a have a significant physical and psychological effect on humans, for example it’s been found that puddings taste sweeter on white plates compared to black ones.

Specific colours can therefore be used strategically in branding to convey the right impression of your business, and subconsciously influence consumers to think of you in a certain light.

Why is considering your target market vital?

Whilst specific colours can generally be said to make us feel certain emotions and associations, variables such as life experiences, culture, age and gender can all influence how colours affect us. For example, warmer colours such as yellow and red are favoured more by children, and cooler colours by adults.

It’s therefore important to consider your target market carefully when making decisions about which colours to choose for your branding.

The effects of certain colours

Within branding, orange is used to mean fun and inexpensive, while blue suggests professionalism and dependability, as shown in the below examples.

 

This is of course dependant on the chosen shade. Most colours have a combination of positive and negative meanings, so you’ve got to consider both sides when making your choice.

Here are a couple more examples of colours and their uses in logo design:

Red

Positive: passion, energy, intensity

Negative: Danger, war

Red has been proven to physically stimulate the body, which explains it’s connotations of intense emotions. It also creates a sense of urgency, making it effective when used to advertise sales or short term offers. It’s also a bold colour, making it synonymous with danger and adventure. Red logos are therefore common in the entertainment industry.

Blue

Positive: calmness, stability, professionalism, dependability

Negative: sadness, predictability

On the other end of the spectrum, blue has been shown to be relaxing and to lower blood pressure and so is used in a branding to suggest tranquillity and reliability.

It’s therefore important to consider the emotional effects your branding colour will have on your customers and strive to create the feelings and associations you desire.

Warm vs cool colours

Considering the different effects that warm and cool colours have is important, as warm colours such as orange yellow and red represent happiness and energy whilst cool colours are perceived as calmer and more serious.

Contrasting colours

Choosing contrasting colours is often recommended in branding, as colours at opposite ends of the colour wheel are considered complementary, due to the fact that they look vibrant and don’t cause eye strain.

How we can help

Careful consideration of many factors is therefore required when choosing a colour palette for your branding materials. Our expert team of graphic designers can produce a bold and representative logo for your company, as well as branding for a range of other marketing materials such as banners, flyers and brochures.

How platforms and devices are influencing logo designs

From Myspace and LinkedIn in the early 2000’s to Twitter and Instagram in 2012, social media usage has skyrocketed over the past two decades. Add smartphones into the mix around 2007, and brands were left with no choice but to rapidly adapt their digital content to meet a variety of new requirements – and logo design was no exception.

Impact of Social Media

Fitting the format

When businesses expanded their online presence to include social media, logos that had previously been effective on websites did not always transfer across effectively. With each platform offering its own format, different variations of the logo needed to be designed with social media in mind. This often involved taking elements of the existing logo and mixing them up or simplifying them.

As seen below, a rectangular text logo would appear smaller and therefore have less impact in the square or rounded primary images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and therefore an element of the logo was taken to represent the brand on social media. 

Converse full logo

Getting down with the kids

In order to engage directly with their customers and develop a friendly relationship, brands often aim to portray a more playful side of themselves on social media. This attitude can translate to custom logo design, whether that’s choosing a more contemporary font, or creating a simple bold logo that’s instantly recognisable. It’s worth bearing in mind as well that social media platforms tend to have a younger age demographic than more traditional forms of media. The most effective logos for social media are simple, bold designs without words, typically using one or two colours and an icon portraying a vital element of the brand, as shown in the above example. Shown below is a brand who’ve chosen to force a logo onto social media without considering the formats of the platforms.

Apps and designing for menu screen

Hand in hand with smartphones came apps, providing more restrictions for a business’s app logo. Apps are square spaces with rounded edges, and provide only a few millimetres to represent your brand, in amongst pages full of others. Complicated logos would look cluttered in this format, and so a simple design which is instantly recognisable and stands out from the crowd is best. Remember to do your research before coming up with a logo design for an app, as some designs are already overused.

Logos that work in different viewports and ratios

Logos were designed with scalability in mind even before the internet, for example considering how a logo would look on a billboard vs a leaflet. Today this is more important than ever, with users choosing to work on a variety of devices such as macs, PC’s, tablets, laptops and smartphones. With different screen sizes, and web browsers being changed in size or shape, it’s crucial that a logo can hold its own and adapt to a variety of different viewports and ratios, for optimal user experience. One approach is to create a suite of varying sized logos to be served at different fixed viewports. However, it’s worth considering the more scalable solution of using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs). Unlike bitmap formats such as JPEG, SVG’s are truly scalable and lossless in quality as they’re resized. Some of the advantages of choosing an SBG format are:

  • SVG’s scale without loss to any size
  • Look sharp on retina displays
  • Support all resolutions
  • More futureproof than JPEG as will support resolutions not yet in common use

Logos that adapt to shrinking menu

Always seeking to provide the best user experience possible, websites often have shrinking menus which travel down the page with the user. The bar tends to have a set background colour for clarity. Therefore, its necessary to consider how a logo will scale down for a shrinking menu as well as how it will stand out from or match the background colour of the menu bar.

Favicons

Favicons are the small icons associated with a brand which appear in the websites address bar and bookmarks. These are the smallest of all logos and so are typically made to be as simple as possible, as they’re just a few millimetres in width and height. Simplifying the logo and using the same colour scheme can be a good place to start. As most web browsers use white or cream tabs, making a Favicon bold and visible on these colours is crucial, for example see how the Converse logo’s colours are reversed in the Favicon for this purpose.

With a saturated market, creative, original logo designs and strong branding are more important than ever, with recognisability, visibility and adaptability being areas of primary importance. If you’re looking for an experienced London-based logo designer you can get in touch with us here.

Iconic logo designs that represent London’s identity

The capital city of London is well known for its vibrant culture, history and entertainment quarters and these have often been represented through logo design. Back in 2009, the previous Mayor of London Boris Johnson tried to harness the creativity of the design world to give London its very own logo. This logo had hoped to capture the many sectors of London’s life and culture, including tourism, sports, transport and the arts. Unfortunately this wasn’t an easy task and the project was eventually shelved.

Over the years however, there has been a selection of logo designs that we automatically associate with the capital. Take a look at some of the most creative and iconic London logo designs that represent the essence of the city.

tube logo 2

London Underground logo design

The London Underground logo is possibly one of the most easily identifiable designs in the capital. Its distinctive bar and circle composition, first created in 1908 has stood the test of time, becoming a national icon in its own right. This simple yet striking design has been updated many times and is now incorporated into the whole transport infrastructure, including bus stops, dockland ferries and DSLR network logos.

The London 2012 Olympics logo design

This vibrant yet controversial logo created for the 2012 London Olympics came under much scrutiny. The jagged and vivacious design when first introduced, was met with a petition signed by thousands of people asking for it to be scrapped. The London Olympics chairman defended it by saying it was in line with their plans to reach out to young people. But no matter what the final thoughts of this design were, it certainly made a talking point in the city and across the globe.

Visit London logo design

As the ‘go to’ for London tourists, Visit London, the visitlondon.com official visitor guidecity’s official visitor guide recently incorporated a unique design into its logo to capture the identity of the capital. This simple and effective logo features the flow of the River Thames running through the heart of central London and offers an understated yet informative design.

London’s iconic art and history logos

Within London, famous heritage and arts sites not only possess captivating stories and artifacts behind their doors, they also display iconic and striking logos too. Take a look at just a few of the most famous spots around the city.

tate logoTate Modern

The popular Tate Modern art gallery recently revamped its logo to incorporate its diverse locations and strengthen its visual identity. The logo, created with dots, aims to connect with younger people and embody the unique appeal of its exhibits and settings.

V&A Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the largest art and design venues in the world. It was revamped for its 150th birthday alongside a makeover of its existing logo. The new logo captures the iconic initials and impressive grandeur of the venue whilst presenting a more modern and inspiring style.

All of these logos represent the wonderful and vibrant city of London, as well as a range of elements, from the abstract and modernistic to those of heritage and history. Whatever values you need to convey in your logo, contact us for innovative logo design in London and beyond.

Choosing the right logo design for your business

Your logo design might just be the most important element of your brand. A visual ‘stamp’ that is more than the sum of its parts, it is the first touchpoint for your clients, an illustration of the essence of your business, a way to stand out among your UK competitors, and a promise to your customers.

With so much riding on this one piece of design, it really is worth putting the time in, to get it right. It may sound like a challenge to capture so much information in a simple design, however with the right know how you can land a logo that you and your company will be proud to display.

Logo design: text or icon

Logo designs can broadly be categorised as either text-based, or icon based. Popular brands with logos comprising stylised text include Coca Cola, Sony and NASA. All are presented differently, and all are instantly recognisable.

The right font is critical in these designs because different fonts really can inspire distinctive emotional responses from customers. Whatever you decide upon, it needs to match your business model. A children’s toy company might choose a loose style of text that suggests fun and boundlessness, whereas a legal business would likely perform better with an upright, neat font that indicates steadfastness. A professional designer will have access to – and knowledge of – many more fonts than standard writing software can offer.

Eye-catching icons

Logo designs often include familiar images: think of the mountain on Toblerone packets evoking a Swiss landscape, or the leaping big cat on a Puma logo. And sometimes the icons are abstract, like the red, white and blue ‘wave’ of Pepsi.

A few logos are so strong that these icons don’t even need the company name next to them for you to know who they are and what they stand for. Who comes to mind when you think of a simplistic, rounded panda? A popular piece of fruit with a bite taken from it? A little two-dimensional blue bird?

These companies already have a huge amount of brand recognition, of course, so it wouldn’t be advisable for a burgeoning company somewhere in the UK to have only an icon in their logo. However you could ask your designer to pair a word with an icon, which would allow you the flexibility to use the icon alone for some applications, should you wish.

Colour connotations

It’s tempting to plump for your favourite colour, or to imagine a whole range of vibrant colours in your logo. Take care, because colour can have a subtle yet important impact on a customer’s psychology.

Savvy companies use this science to their advantage by matching their logo colour to the emotion they want to invoke. Red for instance suggests passion, and action – and is widely believed to make you feel hungry, which is why we commonly see red in fast food chain logos. Blue, meanwhile, is calming, and represents peace and strength. It’s the colour of banks, and many car manufacturers. Orange – like that of the UK’s Penguin books – is sociable and creative. Work with a logo designer to identify a colour palette that suits your company’s personality.

Fitting flexibility

A logo design should have the same impact whether it’s emblazoned across a double decker bus, or printed on a business card. It should be scalable and work within different applications. Do you use social media? If so, you’ll need a logo that fits in the avatar square on Twitter and Facebook. It should look good when it’s at this size too.

Will you place the image over colour photographs in publications? If yes, then one or two simple colours may work best to ensure it’s clear against the background, and your designer may also recommend black and white alternatives to your chosen logo to use in contexts such as these.

From mission to message

Most importantly, before you even think of any of the above, consider what message you want your logo to ‘say’. Ideally people should know what you do by looking at your logo, or what ‘type’ of company you are. A logo might be fun, but as much fun as you are, is this the most important brand value for the business? Or are you better to command authority? Convey honesty? Suggest dynamism? Or engender trust?

Consider your mission statement if you have one, and be honest with yourself about what you want to say about your company with your logo design, and what your audience will respond to best.

Branding brilliance

It’s important to be original, but it’s also important to respect conventional wisdom around logos. If you aren’t accurately representing your business with your logo design, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Anyone can create a logo, but an expert logo designer will create one that will look fantastic, and stimulate the right responses in customers – all while meeting any standard technical demands and specifications. A great designer will interrogate your brief, and possibly even challenge your thinking.

For original logo design that accurately reflects your company and will catch the eye of your potential UK customers, contact Alchemist studios.

Leveraging London: making use of the city’s cultural capital in your logo design

London is one of the world’s great metropolises. The heart of the former British empire, it’s a melting pot of cultures and one of the UK’s major creative centres. If your business is based in London, taking advantage of this heritage and sense of place can give your logo design impact and instant recognition.

A sense of place

Drawing from London’s landmarks can help to root your business in the city. For some customers, locality can be a big factor in their decision making. Tying your business to London can help to build trust with your customers, making clear that you’re local and highlighting your physical presence.

One way to do this is by incorporating landmarks into your logo design. Silhouettes and outlines of recognisable buildings can help to make your company’s London link explicit. Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster have long been used in branding – just think of HP Sauce. But many of London’s newer landmarks are just as recognisable and may be more suited to your brand. The London Eye and O2 Arena have distinctive shapes that can be applied to logo designs in a range of different styles. London’s newer landmarks such as the Shard and Gherkin skyscrapers can also add interest and a sense of place.

Specific landmarks can have their own connotations, which may not be appropriate for your brand. You can get around this by using more general, but recognisable symbols of London. London’s street name signs, for example, are widely recognisable and include elements that can give your business a strong link to a particular borough. Underground signs, while highly recognisable, are trademarked so should be used with caution.

More subtle approaches can also tie your business to the capital. Integrating the path of the Thames adds an organic, almost abstract quality to your logo design. The Westminster portcullis has long associations with the borough and has been used in both traditional and modern logo designs. Each are and district will have its own symbols and iconography.

London chic

London’s cultural heritage extends beyond its landmarks. Whatever your brand, there is an iconic image that you can adopt.

Many cultural movements have their origins or heart in London and can be used to add personality to your brand. From West End theatre to punk and grime, each have their own visually arresting imagery and styles. By adopting these styles and themes in your logo design you can align your brand with a particular culture or art form.

Many art and fashion styles have also originated in London, or are closely tied to the city in public consciousness. From William Hogarth to today’s street art, there is a style to suit your brand.

Get a London-based logo design that’s right for your business

As a logo design studio that’s based in London, we understand the city. Get in touch today to discuss how we can create a logo design for your London-based business that ties your brand to the city from only £495.

How an effective logo designer can make your London business seem larger than it is

Are you ever worried that the size of your business is holding you back? Just because you haven’t got a huge team behind you doesn’t mean you can’t be as effective as a larger business. If the quality of your product, or service, is good then that should be all that matters. Annoyingly, a lot of consumers are more willing to put their trust in seemingly larger businesses.logo designers can help make your business seem larger than it is | roofing logo

What we can do as London-based logo designers is help you project a ‘big business’ image. A professional logo design, coupled with a good branding strategy, can open your business up to a wider pool of clientele. Another thing that it gives you the potential to do is increase your prices. If your work is as good as a larger business’, why should you be pigeon-holed into charging half the price?

How can we make your business seem bigger?

Initially it’s all about perception. How people see your business. Have you wondered how people perceive your business? In order for people to take your business seriously, and assume a high level of professionalism and quality, your image needs to reflect that.

As we’ve said many times before, your logo is what people base their first impressions and general expectations on. It needs to be reflective of the core standards of your company. Design is one of the only things that can change the way people see your business without any interaction.

We’re not just logo designers. Our full branding services include business cards and stationery design. We can reflect your business’ image on all marketing materials.

Our costs

For a clean, professional looking logo to make your business appear larger than it really is, we charge £495. That’s for four custom designed logos with three amendments at each stage.

We then have various design packages up to the price of £695 for your logo design, strapline and stationery design.


If you’re looking for a logo designer in the London area that you can trust give us a call today. We have extensive experience working with small businesses looking to improve their image.

How to find a good logo designer

With so many of us around and so many online tools available it can be hard to know what to look for in a logo designer. Here are a few things to think about before you choose yours:

Have a look at their portfolio

You wouldn’t buy something a pair of shoes online without seeing a picture, so why would you hire a logo designer without seeing some of their logos first? Most graphic designers will have an online portfolio available – if they don’t, just ask. If you like the style and creativity of their work, you’ll likely be pleased with what they can create for you.
logo designer's portfolio

Think about costs

The price of logos can vary considerably. There are tools online where you can pay as little as £10 for a randomly generated logo, or you can pay thousands to have a team of creative experts carry out extensive market research. Obviously, you need to make sure that your logo designer can work within your budget but you also need to make sure that you have an effective logo at the end of it all.

Check out their process

Your logo is going to be a pivotal part of your business. It’s going to be on all of your marketing materials and will hopefully become synonymous with your business; it needs to be right. What you don’t want is to pay for a logo and be handed something you’re unhappy with, and then have to pay extra for changes. Find out a bit about your logo designer’s process; is there an initial consultation to brain storm ideas? Do you have alterations included? If so, how many? Make sure you establish all of this first to prevent any shocks at the end.

What’s included?

The cheaper designers are likely just going to give you a logo, in one format, to do with what you please. In order to use your logo effectively, in top quality, it needs to be available in a range of different formats.

Logo designs from Alchemist

We create custom logo designs for under £500 here at Alchemist. We’ll create four custom designs that have had the chance to be amended at each step in our process. You’ll receive them in multiple formats and be handed full copyright.

Click here to find out more about us.

2016 graphic design trends to continue in 2017

2016 saw some really interesting trends in graphic designs. We’ve put together a short list of some of the trends that we predict will continue to grow in 2017.

Minimalism and keeping things simple

Keeping things simple has always been important in graphic design – but never more than it is now. Graphic designers need to consider how their designs are going to look on the increasing number of smaller devices; tablets, mobiles and smart watches. Flat design was a prominent factor in 2016 and was influential in the minimisation of loads of big brands.

Coop

coop rebrand

Mastercard

mastercard rebrand

Bright and intense colours

Colours became a lot less muted in 2016. Instead designers were choosing to go for bold and bright colours. Pops of colour were often used to create contrast and intensity. We think there will be an increase in monochromatic colour overlays – in keeping with the minimalistic trend.

Fun and bold typography

McDonald's rebrand2016 saw an array of playful and bold styles of typography. Watercolour typography was used a lot on the web with some really great results.

Broken bold prints were also experimented with:

What’s going to be big in graphic design in 2017?

Still keeping things simple…

2017 is going to see is an increase in functionality over style and design. Keeping things as sleek and minimal as possible to focus on the product or service. Logos, websites and packaging are likely to reflect this trend throughout the new year.

If you’re looking for some support in any aspect of graphic design; be it branding, logo design or web design please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have years of graphic design experience and love keeping up with current trends in the industry. This helps us to create the best and most relevant designs for our clients.

Logo design changes over time

There are so many factors that, in the future, can lead you to want to change your logo. Whether it’s just trends and tastes changing, or there’s a drastic change to your business or service offering that necessitates a logo redesign. With that in mind, when designing a logo it’s important to create something that’s flexible and can be easily adapted.

When we design logos, we stick to a few main principles to ensure that they stand the test of time. At the same time, we ensure that our logos are easy to adapt if our clients wish to make changes in the future.

Some of the world’s most famous and popular brands have gone through redesigns. Most importantly, they’ve retained their identities and held onto their target markets. Here’s an example of a three worldwide companies that have successfully redesigned their logos over the years:

logo designs over timelogo designs over timelogo designs over timelogo designs over time

logo designs over time

logo designs over timelogo designs over timelogo designs over time

There have been some hugely successful logo redesigns from some of the world’s most popular brands. As with most things though, there have also been some fails that have ended up costing brands millions of pounds. Clothing retailer Gap controversially replaced their infamous blue square box logo and replaced it with something much less popular. After a huge negative reaction from their customers they decided to revert back to the old logo just a few days later.

gap logo designgap logo designgap logo design

There’s also a huge catalogue of logo design fails. The Pepsi logo below being one of the more pc examples! Negative connotations of your logo are never going to be a good thing for your brand; something that we bear in mind as logo designers.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-10-35-34

Your logo is the primary visual representation of your company, it’s the first thing that your target audience will recognise in your business and it will become a key part of all our marketing materials. So, when it’s done right it has the power to improve the image of your business amongst your competitors and your target audience. If you’re looking for some help, please get in touch to have a chat with a logo designer and see how we can help your business.

Why London is a centre for graphic design

As the cultural hub of the UK and the second most visited city in the world it’s no surprise that London has become a root in the graphic design industry. London is home to fashion weeks, film festivals and some of the world’s most famous museums, and now 46 of the UK’s top 50 graphic design agencies. In fact, 6 of the top 15 agencies in the world have studios in London.

graphic designers london

The creative industry in London is valued at over £35billion and employs close to a million people. Graphic designers being a huge part of those creatives working to promote London as one of the top design capitals in the world.

As Europe’s largest city, London opens its doors for creatives from all over the world to bring new trends and thoughts to the industry. With places like Hoxton and Shoreditch growing in popularity for those looking to express their creativity, graphic designers are flocking the area.

For those reasons it comes as no surprise that we chose London and particularly Shoreditch as our home. Being in a city full of other graphic designers gives us the inspiration to continually advance our own ideas and designs.

Our history

Before settling down in the heart of East London and creating Alchemist, Martin was based in Singapore where he was able to develop his design style and technique. He’s worked as a graphic designer for a number of large organisations including Virgin.

London without the London price tag

An important part of our logo and branding design services is making sure that they are affordable. We know that our clients have a budget so we agree a fixed cost at the beginning of a project. We think our fees are an accurate representation of the time, skill and passion put into our designs.

Get in touch

If you’re looking for a graphic designer in London, then get in touch today. We’d be happy to have an informal chat and let you know a bit more about how our design services can help develop your brand.

DESIGN FROM ALCHEMIST

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